tv Headline News RT July 9, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm EDT
coming up on r t with all the buzz about n.s.a. surveillance and exactly how is the u.s. able to track movements around the globe we'll take a trip through tubes coming up. from n.s.a. secrets to the public spotlight and now to a supreme court petition the epic is turning to the nation's highest court to block the disturbing expansion of government surveillance more coming up and it's now day sixteen of the bradley manning trial the defense team today focuses on guantanamo bay and what was leaked about the facility a report from fort meade ahead. it is tuesday july ninth five pm in washington d.c.
i'm meghan lopez and you are watching r.t. well starting off this hour russia's u.n. envoy vladimir churkin announced today that samples have been collected from the site where chemical weapons were used in syria those samples have been analyzed and are now being handed over to the u.n. in an attempt to prove that it was the rebels and not the syrian government who are the ones using chemical weapons. and reports. the u.n. investigation into the use of chemical weapons near aleppo never materialized the syrian government requested such investigation but some you want officials demanded access into all syrian facilities which syria denied insisting on the investigation of that particular incident anyway that u.n. investigation never happened but nonetheless the u.s. came forward and said it had evidence that the syrian government used chemical weapons but there were a lot of questions as to the sources to which they got the evidence washington brushed up all reports that rebels could have been behind the attack the syrian government wanted the incident clarified and requested russian experts to look into
what happened in khan near aleppo which they did and based on that analysis russia says there is every reason to believe that it was the armed opposition fighters who used chemical weapons in khan take a listen to the results of the analysis clearly indicate that the ordinance used in canada so was not really manufacturers' and was filled with sudden the sudden technical specifications prove that it was not in the state of manufacturers' either the projectile involved is not is standard one for chemical use therefore there is evident you seem to believe that it was the armed opposition fighters who used the chemical weapons so russia has just submitted this analysis of on site samples russia's u.n. envoy envoy also underscored that unlike other reports provided to the secretary general russia's samples were taken at the project impact point by russian experts for certain he said they were not handed over to russia's through third parties
which was apparently the case with us analyse the samples were analyzed that an internationally recognized and certified russian the board three russia also says it has information that so-called bashi are all nuts or brigade affiliated with the free syrian army began the production of bashir three unguided projectiles in two thousand and thirteen and they were used in the ma in the march attack and asked about the evidence that russia submitted to the us. president obama's press secretary yet again brushed off the report as saying we seriously doubt anybody blood the syrian government could use chemical weapons in syria the fact of the matter is that the u.s. has already decided to arm the syrian rebels under the pretext that the syrian government has used chemical weapons although the evidence that the u.s. supposedly has was not verified by the u.n. so you have a huge gap of trust with the u.s. on the one hand insisting that the syrian government has used chemical weapons and russia on the other hand saying that you have to look at all evidence before you take such a dramatic action as as flooding the region with more weapons that was artie's guy
and just a can reporting. by now just about every american knows that the government has the ability to collect data on your phone conversations we know that the government has collected meda meditate on millions of phones and we know that this was authorized by a secret court and has been going on for years but have you ever wondered how all of this happens exactly how the government goes about physically tapping phones or the internet get ready for a trip down the wires r.t. political commentator san sachs takes us there. is that something that you just saw something i don't think try it said a series of the late senator ted stevens from alaska and his the mortal description of what the internet really is despite sounding bizarre and spawning several viral parodies. so senator stevens description of what exactly the
internet is so wasn't really that far off at all. the internet is really a series of tubes or at least cables hundreds of them that search for over five hundred thousand miles underwater connecting all the major continents to the web and to each other so this is what the internet physically looks like so how does the n.s.a. go about physically tapping into it rewind back to two thousand and one wall street journal reports in early one nine hundred eighty nine the agency assembled a team of researchers in a small warren of labs had its headquarters in fort meade maryland their mission according to one former n.s.a. researcher who worked on it was to find a way to get inside fiber optic cables and secretly siphon off the data moving through them this included a fleet of specially equipped submarines deployed to dive to the sea floor and cut into the fiber optic cables the wall street journal adds in an interview air force
lieutenant general michael hayden the n.s.a.'s director laughed when asked whether the n.s.a. had tapped undersea cables i'm not going to sit here and dissuade you from your views he said but he suggested that access isn't the problem rather he said the sheer volume and variety of today's communications means there's simply too much out there and it's too hard to understand again that was twelve years ago then the a.p. reports after nine eleven president george w. bush secretly authorized the n.s.a. to plug into the fiber optic cables that enter and leave the united states knowing it would give the government unprecedented warrantless access to americans private conversations not only. bad but also access to much of the world's conversations since huge swaths of global internet traffic pass through cables coming in and out of the united states in two thousand and six and eight hundred eighty whistleblower exposes the existence of n.s.a. monitoring hardware installed at a key internet hub right here in san francisco but then the n.s.a.
ran into a problem more and more of these under seas internet cables and hubs were being owned and managed not by u.s. companies but by foreign companies and so as the washington post reported this weekend the u.s. government made agreements with these foreign companies to ensure that when u.s. government agencies seek access to the massive amounts of data flowing through their networks the companies have systems in place to provide it securely one particular agreement with an asian company called global crossing requires the company to have a network operations center on u.s. soil that could be visited by government officials within thirty minutes of warning and the point was clear to keep an eye on the tubes and all the stuff coming out of the tubes the phone conversations the e-mails everything and edward snowden's leaks reveal the extent to which the n.s.a. has done just that now the latest leak exposes have the n.s.a. tapped into brazil's communications network to intercept in-store e-mail and phone
records belonging to millions of brazilians a job that's made easier since eighty six percent of latin america's internet traffic is routed through the united states meanwhile the rest of the world in particular in the middle east and africa relies on europe to be its main hub for internet traffic eighty seven percent of all outgoing middle east internet traffic goes through europe and the n.s.a. is heavily invested in that continent as well edward snowden revealed british intelligence is ability to tap into in-store huge volumes of data drawn from fiber optic cables by may last year three hundred analysts from g.c. . h.q. and two hundred fifty from the n.s.a. had been assigned to sift through the flood of data a total of eight hundred fifty thousand n.s.a. employees and u.s. private contractors with top secret clearance had access to g c h q databases the documents reveal that by last year g.c. h.q. was handling six hundred million telephone events each day had tapped more than two
hundred fiber optic cables and was able to process data from at least forty six of them at a time plus snowden's leaks obtained by dear spiegel revealed that the n.s.a. is collecting from germany up to twenty million telephone calls and ten million internet data exchanges daily and the n.s.a. is more active in germany than in any other of the u.s twenty seven member states usa is primarily interested in important internet hubs in southern and western germany frankfurt for example plays an important role in the global internet infrastructure again it's all about keeping an eye on the tubes ninety nine percent of the world's intercontinental phone and internet communications travel through this network but just how many tubes has the n.s.a. tapped that's a question that's still unanswered but given what we've learned so far about the n.s.a. is obsession with data do you think they'd leave any of these tubes unchecked in
washington sam sachs r t an update now to the edward snowden diplomatic standoff that has captured public attention around the world yesterday we told you that bolivia nicaragua and venezuela had offered the n.s.a. secrets still are asylum in their countries and just today there was a tweet sent out by a russian lawmaker that spurred speculation that edward snowden might have accepted venezuela's asylum bid however no source was actually named meanwhile other news reports are surfacing saying that the government of venezuela itself confirmed that snowden accepted asylum but again no sources. and now that you are all caught up let's move on to the next big dilemma facing edward snowden how he will actually be able to get to whatever country he finally chooses and if he flies the plane will most likely have to travel through american airspace or that of our allies we could see the plane diverted like bolivian president evo morales this plane was cuban
president raul castro said that he would allow the plane snowden is traveling on to land and refuel on the island nation but again the question of flying into american airspace comes into play so it looks like this game of diplomatic hot potato isn't over yet beyond that word snowden still among the n.s.a. is still experiencing both domestic and international fallout from the leaks detailing its surveillance programs the electronic privacy information center epic as it's better known filed an emergency petition directly to the supreme court to end the surveillance the petition says quote the foreign intelligence surveillance court exceeded its statutory jurisdiction when it ordered production of millions of domestic telephone records that cannot plaza be plausibly be relevant to an authorized investigation now epic is going to the highest court in the u.s. because it could not challenge the legality of the n.s.a.
surveillance program directly with the secret fisa court that approved that surveillance in the first place and this isn't the only petition or a lawsuit of the government has coming its way as a result of all of these revelations about the n.s.a. surveillance program to tell me more about ethics petition the man who submitted it alan butler joined me just a short time ago he is epic's appellate advocacy counsel and i asked him to explain why they decided to go directly to the supreme court. well our petition is asking the supreme court to review the decision of the foreign intelligence surveillance court specifically to the decision regarding verizon telephone communications records so we are asking the supreme court to review the decision of the intelligence court because as a horizon customer those records affect us and in addition to millions of americans and because of the unique format of the u.s. surveillance law there's no other place we can go we have to go direct to the supreme court to challenge what we allege is unlawful surveillance and months talk
about the main argument of your petition sure well our petition and again to clarify we have a mandamus petition with the supreme court and that petition alleges that under the foreign intelligence law that it is unlawful for the foreign intelligence court to issue an order like it did to horizon that requires the disclosure of all call detail records are related to calls that company processes and as i understand it the reason that that is important is because you have to have an order to have one of these surveillance programs a very specific kind of argument against the person that you want to tap is that correct right so the legal standard here is relevance and what's required of the foreign intelligence law is that the records collected in this case business records are relevant to an authorized investigation and it's our contention that it says since implausible that all telephone records of horizon customers are relevant
to a particular investigation so realistically what do you think the chances of your petition being heard are well we believe that the court will take our petition seriously there's a critical issue of law that the court hasn't considered in the past and that it has the direct opportunity to consider now we're asking for extraordinary relief and so that always comes you know with limited prospects but at the same time we believe it's a critical issue and it really is an extraordinary circumstance however at the same time given historical precedent where. lawsuits of this type are petitions of this type things really haven't changed now in two thousand and five new york times investigation was the thing that first brought up the warrantless wiretapping program there was a lot of lawsuits filed against individual companies as a result of this and that allowed these and they were trying to say that that was their fault that they would allow the government to to have this kind of tapping program now when that law changed in two thousand and eight congress retroactively relieved the law of the companies from this type of liability of being sued do you
think that something like that some type of retroactive action can play into to your petition or future lawsuits that we might see well i think our petition really gets to the heart of what congress changed after those revelations that you mentioned. the n.s.a. was during the bush administration sweeping up communications records somewhat similar to what they're doing in the in the lawsuit and sort of the facts behind what we're challenging here and when the patriot act was passed to reauthorize it in two thousand and five the amended the provision the exact provision that we are dealing with here and the provision again requires that the records be relevant and we're basically making clear that book collection of telephone communications records is not the same as collecting records that are relevant to a particular investigation however one other point of contention to bring up is that a lot of the reason a lot of those lawsuits back in the past failed was because they have to have this burden of proof they have to prove that yes they were specifically tapped and a lot of them can't prove that because the fact is that these programs are secret
the surveillance is secret so do ad words snowden's documents or do any other documents prove specifically this this reason this burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt rights of standing has been a problem in the past this year we saw in the clapper case in the supreme court you know five out of the nine justices decided that those plaintiffs did not have standing in the us the court didn't review the legal claims but in our case we have an order from the foreign intelligence. surveillance court specifically citing that verizon communications records are obtained and were risen customers so we believe we can get over that hurdle very interesting please keep us up to date with your petition and what comes of it allan butler is the appellate advocacy counsel at epic well it is day sixteen of the trial for bradley manning private first class army because of wiki leaks leaker that is his defense team second day of arguments today lawyer david coombs questioned retired colonel morris davis about one ton of
away detainee policies and information used in their detention this is important because manning leaked the assessments of five get most detainees to wiki leaks artie's liz wahl joined me just a short time ago from fort meade to discuss the importance of this testimony. that's right he is a frequent guest on ars he was also a key witness in the court martial against private first class bradley manning today colonel morris davis testified as an expert an expert on these guantanamo bay detainee assessments of the seven hundred thousand documents that bradley manning admitted to handing over to wiki leaks are these profiles these assessments of guantanamo bay detainee is now essentially the defense compared to the the brief to baseball cards they contain all types of information on detainees everything from their names a date of birth aliases they may have had biographical information organizations
they may have been affiliated with all of this information on contained in these detainee assessment brief now out when manning's attorney david coombs questioned colonel morris davis he was trying to find out if these assessment briefs were closely held u.s. secrets and how damaging they may have been to national security now colonel morris davis his response was interesting he said much of the information that was found in these detainee assessment briefs could be found on open sources people like you or me or anybody out there that really wanted to get ahold of this information they could do it on their own they could do it by doing internet searches they could do it by reading news articles by reading books that profiled these detainees he also mentioned this movie this movie called road to guantanamo and i believe we do have a clip of it if we could show it. three bridges which grew with.
the regional stories project. so yeah that was a clip of. documentary that was a clip of that documentary road to guantanamo should mention that it's considered part drama part documentary either way colonel davis said that some of the information he found in these brief could be found in that very movie why is this is significant because he is saying you know what if we could find this information out there on public sources on movies like the one that you were the ones the one that you just saw a clip of that maybe these brief didn't contain these sound information this closely held information that the prosecution.
know morris davis and he's hearing. so let's start out by talking about your testimony what did it do to help or hinder the defense's case will probably private manning is alleged to have leaked over seven hundred detainees assessment breeze to wiki leaks the government chose five the specific brief for five different detainees that they charged him as part of the charges and so what my what i did was take those five briefs and then go to open source documents particularly the department offense in two thousand and six released the combatant status review tribunals the administrative review board so you can go on the pentagon's own website and find the documents on the detainees and if you match them up in the public domain you can find most of the information this in these briefs that he's alleged to have committed espionage by making available to wiki leaks and we're going to hear testimony and dig into the nitty gritty details in just a second but i do want to bring up a point that the judge wouldn't lest you testify as
a specialist on national security but correct me if i'm wrong wasn't your title weren't you a senior specialist of national security for congress in the past it or thirty senior specialist that work for congress and i was the only one in national security but apparently that's not good enough for a court martial why is that i don't know it's good enough for congress good enough for a court martial very interesting so according to your testimony the detainees files that bradley manning passed on to wiki leaks had no value to any groups i think you're quite up to baseball cards can you tell us what is in them and why you argue that no harm was actually done to u.s. national security baseball card with a slang term we used to refer to these documents because it gave you the the name the height the weight the date of birth you know the kind of information used to see on the back of a baseball card and then just a narrative description of who the individual was and what they were alleged to have done but it didn't get into the sources and methods and others intelligence or law enforcement or signals. or other governments that provided information it
didn't get into the sources and methods that you know are legitimately classified so the information is out there is. it was mentioned if you watch the road to guantanamo you probably know as much about the three individuals as you get from reading their detaining assessment briefs so essentially the who what when where but not necessarily the wire the how but no prosecution prosecutor jim morrow went on to say that the baseball card analogy is a very bad analogy what is your response to that well i thought it number one i didn't make up the term it was one that was in existence when i came on board it was certainly one that i adopted but it was just i think a term that was a flippant shorthand term to refer to these documents that for us were worthless they had no bearing whatsoever on the military commissions they were never documents so we attempted to get declassified because they had no use. again the information in there is you know just kind of a narrative description of who this individual is and you can go on the internet now and and probably get
a more accurate description than you get from reading these to painting assessment very interesting now you're a former prosecutor chief prosecutor of guantanamo bay talk about the prosecution in your opinion how are they doing how's the case stacking up well i'll give him credit they were extraordinarily professional and polite in you know i was proud of the way that they're representing the military justice system so i give him great credit for that i think this case is a case of overcharging i think many of us that side with private manning if testified for him agree that what he did was wrong in disclosing classified information but the government is alleging this is espionage that he intentionally intended to aid the enemy specifically al qaeda and there's just been no evidence of that the testimony yesterday from from his former colleagues officers and in c.e.o.'s that spent time with him in iraq said he was an outstanding performer the go to guy the opposite picture of the way the government is trying to train as a malcontent a poor performer so this writer and that is what they're trying him for so you're
a former military man talk about the difference between what's a lower and a trade are well you know a traitor is clearly someone that is. is out to harm their country and again here the government is alleged under the espionage charge that he intended. all of the testimony so so far including from prosecution witnesses is that he was a young man that was interested in world events and politics and issues and that in all the discussions with him it was his concern about the policies in iraq and afghanistan never once did he ever mention any ill will towards the united states or desire to help the enemy so let's talk about the precedent that this trial could potentially set for the future of we have a lot of other whistleblowers that are coming out from bank of america all the way over to edward snowden in russia right now so how does this set the precedent for future trials of whistleblowers or is it kind of unique case since it's a military tribunal well i think if the obama administration as you recall when he took office he said we're going to be the most open and transparent administration
in the history of america and he's indicted what seven people under the espionage act more than every other president combined i think what they're doing with manning and with other cases is trying to make an example particularly the internet age were easier to obtain him to distribute information i think what they're trying to do is crack down on it but making examples and i think again private manning should be held responsible for this divulging classified information but to say a life sentence for espionage i think is overcharging and i don't know anyone that has seen what private manning has gone through the is not deterred by just the event so for so i think you know a reasonable sentence is what i'm hoping for and finally you had a chance to speak with private manning quickly what was he like what what what what what were his feelings like you know after i testified i got to speak with him just a few moments and shook my hand and thank me for for testifying and i mean you can tell he's since been upbeat and positive but you can tell by looking at him that this is you know wearing him down and taking
a toll on him is as you'd expect very interesting colonel morris davis a former guantanamo bay. prosecutor and a professor currently at the law of howard university thank you so much for joining us. what does a former treasury secretary you know the man americans trust with all of their money do in his spare time after he steps down well timothy geithner is still spending his time counting cash only this time it's his own the former treasury secretary is making big bucks these days in the private sector by delivering speeches at financial conferences and i'm not talking about a little bit of chump change try hundreds of thousands of dollars so how does this big fat pile of cash stack up against his other earnings over the years well at as the president of the formal as a federal reserve bank in new york in two thousand and eight he made four hundred eleven thousand and two hundred dollars annually or took a huge pay cut to become the treasury secretary but his pockets were still lined
with all that green he made one hundred ninety one thousand and three hundred dollars each year from two thousand and nine to two thousand and twelve but what he earned in one year running the fed or two years as treasury secretary he made delivering just three speeches this year alone talk about putting his money where his mouth is but still many financial experts wonder why geithner hasn't made the ultimate jump into wall street he's got the name recognition and the friends after all in order to be able to do it and he wouldn't be the first former treasury secretary to make a payday by making that move for his partner has said repeatedly that it is extremely unlikely that he will end up on wall street and so far he has stuck to his word but as is the case with almost all free market lovers who knows what will happen if the price is right. well for high school c. students graduation day is a milestone it is a marker of
a person's transition from childhood to becoming a young adult it's a day to celebrate but before students begin to think that they are on the path to success the fiasco wants to set. the record straight in a speech he delivered at the mass black male graduation and transition to manhood ceremony he gave students a dose of reality saying quote congratulations you have graduated from one of the most terrible substandard school systems in the entire world you have just spent the last twelve years receiving one of the worst educations on earth you are at least four five steps behind people in other countries that are younger than you and you know what needs right take a look at the statistics forty seven percent of students in the chicago school system do not graduate and of the ones that do as of two thousand and six only six of every one hundred students went on to earn a bachelor's degree also as
a result of city budget constraints and ineffective teaching mayor rahm emanuel and the chicago board of education decided to close forty nine elementary schools causing this the first teacher strike in chicago in twenty five years as a result of these closures eight hundred fifty teachers and staffers will be laid off now on the other hand the school system announced in may that its graduation rate is growing to the highest it has been since one nine hundred ninety nine also school attendance was just under ninety three percent this year nevertheless graduates and their parents who attended the ceremony said that they appreciated loop if you ask those words of advice just goes to show that you never stop learning even after you graduate and that's going to do it for now for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash r t america and for the latest and greatest information coming out from around your world to check out our website r.t. dot com slash usa and don't forget to follow me on twitter at meghan underscore lopez
stay tuned breaking the set with host abby martin is coming up at the top of the hour. well look at. sunny's technology innovation all the least developed from around russia we've gone to the future or covered. you know how sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom harkin welcome to the big picture.